Professor emeritus records with Cuban National Symphony

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Jeffrey Jacob When President Obama announced his plan to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, allowing for more Americans to travel to the island, he opened the door to give Jeffrey Jacob a unique opportunity: to play with the Cuban National Symphony and record an original piece for piano and orchestra titled “Awakening.” Jacob, a professor emeritus of music at Saint Mary’s, was selected from 300 submissions to travel to Cuba for a week in April.Jacob said his interest in music stems from his parents, both of whom played the piano. He began piano lessons at five years old and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree from the Julliard School and a doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins University.Jacob said a U.S.-based recording company, PARMA Recordings, negotiated with the Cuban government to allow American composers and musicians to come to Cuba.“[PARMA] issued a call for scores,” he said. “I thought, ‘There’s no chance,’ but I had the score, and I was going to just send it out to orchestras to see if anyone would be interested.”Americans have not been able to travel to Cuba freely since the early 1960s, so the call for scores posed an unique opportunity for American composers, Jacob said.“At a very preliminary stage, I thought, ‘If this is selected, I’ll be piano soloist and composer with the Cuban National Symphony, and that will mean that I’m the first North American pianist in 50 years to perform and record my music with the Cuban National Symphony,’” he said.Jacob said the process for choosing the pieces began with PARMA, which sent selected pieces to Cuba for the musicians to choose from.“Nobody was more surprised,” Jacob said. “Nobody was more surprised than I was when I got the word. It was an email followed immediately by a phone call. My very first thought — and I didn’t say this to anyone — was, ‘This must be some sort of scam.’”But it was not a scam, and on April 16, Jacob flew to Cuba. He said he had played a festival for contemporary music in Cuba 29 years ago, but his experience this time around was widely different.Because Fidel Castro opened hotels targeted toward European tourists and relaxed laws about free enterprise, the Cuban economy has improved the standard of living for Cubans and has helped the country become more prosperous, though the Cuban people still largely struggle with poverty, Jacob said.“Things have changed enormously,” he said.Although Cuba and America did not have diplomatic relations for decades, Jacob said Cuban people are largely interested in having a relationship with Americans.“They want full access to the U.S.,” he said. “They want to be able to travel here; Cuban businesses desperately want U.S. tourist dollars and in general … there are millions of Cuban immigrants and their families in Miami and Florida and elsewhere in the U.S., so they were just delighted at this possibility of the opening of relations. They hope that it will some day lead to full diplomatic relations where there is freedom for travel and freedom for businesses.”Being in Cuba with music at the center of the trip helped unite the two cultures, Jacob said.“For Cuban musicians, music is really important,” he said. “They were delighted with the opportunity to be exposed to what’s going on. With the embargo, they had no idea what’s going on in the U.S. in terms of contemporary classical music. They were very open to everything.”Jacob, who speaks conversational Spanish, said he was able to talk with the musicians during their time together.“They were very curious about the U.S. and the things being written,” he said. “They were really eager for more exchanges like this.”He was impressed with the musicians’ work ethic and passion, he said.“At the first rehearsal, they had practiced the heck out of the piece,” he said. “They were extremely well prepared.”Jacob said the musicians went through the piece three times, after which he thought they were done, but the musicians insisted on running through it multiple times all day.“They were committed to getting every detail exactly right, every note, every nuance, every phrase,” he said. “That was the highlight.”Tags: Cuba, Cuban National Symphony, Jeffrey Jacoblast_img read more

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Mentors help ease college transition for new Belles

first_imgSaint Mary’s continued to use peer mentors as an integral part of their Belles Beginnings orientation this year, and according to seniors and current peer mentors Katie Frego and Kristie LeBeau, they will continue to play a large role in the first years’ transition throughout the next semester.Through the program, each first year works with an academic advisor based on her intended major, and each advisor picks a current student within the department to act as a peer mentor for the first years, Frego said.“It’s a great way for incoming freshman to meet others within their major and form strong connections,” she said. “These are the girls [they] will be going through classes with for the next four years.”Peer mentors have played a large role in the Belles Beginnings program for several years, and LeBeau said she appreciated the effort her own peer mentor put into making her transition an easy one. LeBeau first felt nervous when she arrived at the College, she said, but her peer mentor helped ease her nerves.“My peer mentor was really helpful in reassuring me that all of those feelings wouldn’t last long,” LeBeau said. “Seeing how much she loved Saint Mary’s made me hold onto the fact that I would get there one day, too. Now, I want to be that source of reassurance to this new class of Belles.”The peer mentors began their job by moving in early for training, Frego said, during which an alumna of the College hosted a workshop with the students.“She taught us how to facilitate small groups and gave us ice-breaker ideas,” Frego said. “She helped us discover our own passions and how to apply those to our groups. She showed us how to get the girls fired up and excited for the next four years.”According to Frego and LeBeau, peer mentors were very involved with their first-year groups from the start of orientation. They introduced them to campus resources such as the Belles Against Violence Office and assisted them with their class schedules.For LeBeau, acting as a peer mentor has been very rewarding.“I really love getting to know this new class of Belles and doing whatever I can to help them fall in love with Saint Mary’s like I did three years ago,” she said.Frego echoed LeBeau and said she is eager to share her passion about Saint Mary’s with the first years.“I’m so passionate about Saint Mary’s,” she said. “I love it, and I want them to feel the same way I do.”The peer mentors’ roles continues past orientation, Frego said, as they assist with the First-Year Common Course, which all first years are required to take. The class is taught by the academic advisors, and the peer mentors also attend and teach two sessions of the class themselves.“The classes are really focused on diving deeper into the history of Saint Mary’s and the history of Holy Cross,” Frego said.There are 10 sessions of the course, and the first years are also required to attend speeches by President Cervelli and Margaret Atwood, an author visiting campus, Frego said. She said the peer mentors are also helping to plan a visit with the first years to Bertrand, Michigan, where the Sisters of the Holy Cross originally lived.Both Frego and LeBeau believe this class of first years shows great potential for success. Frego said her group of first years are both excited and attentive to their studies, and LeBeau said she believes her first years are ready to handle the stresses of college.“This group of girls seems to have the confidence to take on the world,” LeBeau said. “I look at some of the girls from this class and think, ‘Wow, you are ready for this.’ I don’t remember being that confident as a first year. I think that they are all very prepared — whether they know it or not — and will make a strong class of Belles.”Tags: First Year Common Course, first years, peer mentorslast_img read more

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The Latest: Olympic table tennis qualifiers in April off

first_img___10:40 a.m.The German soccer league says it will play this weekend’s games as planned without spectators but may suspend the league as of Tuesday.The league board says it will propose a suspension through April 2, to be voted on by member clubs on Monday.All of this weekend’s games are due to be played in empty stadiums. 12:50 p.m.National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman says players and staff have been told to stay away from the rink and self-isolate while the league is on a hiatus of uncertain length.Bettman said in a phone interview Friday with the Associated Press and the league’s website that, to his knowledge, no players or league employees have tested positive for the new coronavirus. But he added that he isn’t certain there isn’t someone who might not be feeling well and is awaiting test results.He told owners the first positive test result by any player would be a game-changer and that the decision to pause the season came after that happened in the NBA.Unlike NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said his league’s season would be suspended at least 30 days, Bettman would not put a timeframe on the NHL’s break. Bettman said several contingencies are being worked on about resuming the season and still awarding the Stanley Cup, but he would not give a definitive date on when that would have to happen or how long into the summer things could go. The London Marathon scheduled for April 26 has been postponed to Oct. 4.“We know how disappointing this news will be for so many — the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds, and the millions who watch the race every year,” event director Hugh Brasher said.Previously, coronavirus fears have forced the Barcelona Marathon originally scheduled this Sunday, to be postponed to Oct. 25, and the Paris Marathon on April 5 to be shifted to Oct. 18.The Rome Marathon set for March 29 was canceled earlier.___ The Greek Olympic committee says it is suspending the rest of its torch relay because of the “unexpectedly large crowd” that gathered to watch despite repeated requests for the public to stay away to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.The Hellenic Olympic Committee says a large crowd had gathered to watch the flame for the Tokyo Olympics pass through the southern Greek town of Sparta. The flame was lit Thursday at the birthplace of the games in Ancient Olympia in a pared-down ceremony.The committee says it took “the difficult but essential decision to cancel the rest of the program of the flame relay on Greek territory.”It says the decision was taken in coordination with the health ministry and the International Olympic Committee.The handover of the Olympic Flame to the Tokyo organizing committee will go ahead as scheduled on March 19 at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko says Russia, which hosted the 2018 World Cup, could hold more than its scheduled three group games and one quarterfinal match in St. Petersburg.According to state news agency Tass, Chernyshenko says “we absolutely could expand the tournament program.”He adds that “Russia is ready for however the situation develops, we have plans.”___2:50 p.m. Writing in a Facebook post, government commissioner Mariusz Revesz says the decision came because of the coronavirus crisis in Italy and Hungary’s declaration this week to ban large outdoor sporting events.Revesz says Hungarian and Italian race organizers would seek contract modifications so the Giro can start in Hungary some other time.___1:20 p.m.German club Nuremberg says its whole team and coaching staff are going into quarantine for 14 days after defender Fabian Nürnberger tested positive for the coronavirus. ___5:45 p.m.The Badminton World Federation has suspended all tournaments from Monday to April 12.The tournaments affected include the Swiss Open, India Open, Orléans Masters, Malaysia Open, and Singapore Open.The suspension of the circuit comes into effect following the completion of the All England Open on Sunday in Birmingham. ___12:40 p.m.The Paris-Nice cycling race won’t finish in Nice because of the coronavirus outbreak, and will instead be stopped one day early at the end of Stage 7 on Saturday.The final stage would have taken the race on a 113.5-kilometer (70.5-mile) loop north of Nice. Instead, the race will stop in Valdeblore la Colmiane.___ March 13, 2020 The French soccer league has suspended all matches indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.Matches were scheduled to be held in empty stadiums but the French league made its decision in an emergency meeting a day after President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on television.No indication has yet been given as to when the league could resume. The league says it will next meet on Tuesday following a UEFA meeting.___9:55 a.m. The Latest: Olympic table tennis qualifiers in April off Bettman also said it is not the NHL’s independent call when to return to games and did not rule out the possibility of playing in empty arenas. He said games would only resume when the situation is safe.___12:30 p.m.The last remaining Six Nations rugby match was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Welsh Rugby Union had earlier insisted its match against Scotland on Saturday in Cardiff would go ahead, but changed its mind by mid-afternoon. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):6:35 p.m.The International Table Tennis Federation is suspending all activities — events, development and foundation — from Monday to the end of April. ___ 10:25 a.m.Baylor University says it has told its entire baseball team and staff to self-quarantine after learning that three TSA agents in San Jose, California who tested positive for COVID-19 had “indirect contact” with the school’s travel party earlier this week. Baylor said the team will self-quarantine in Waco, Texas, or at their permanent residence. The school said no players, coaches or staff are showing any symptoms of the coronavirus. ___4:55 p.m.Russia is offering to host more European Championship games as UEFA considers whether the tournament can go ahead. The ITTF executive committee will hold an emergency meeting on Monday.The Japan Open next month had already been postponed, but Friday’s decision also affects Olympic qualifiers for Asia, Europe and Oceania next month.An announcement will be made next week regarding the Hong Kong Open and China Open, both in May, the ITTF said.___2:30 p.m. ___11:50 a.m.Soccer in Scotland has been suspended following a similar move in England.The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League say games are off until “further notice.”Six first-division games were scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Old Firm game between Glasgow rivals Rangers and Celtic. The event had been scheduled for April 3-4 at Lake Placid, New York.The World Synchronized Skating Championships had been held every year since 2000, including four times previously in the United States.___6:20 p.m.Sampdoria has announced that four more of its players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club doctor. 11:15 a.m.UEFA has postponed all Champions League and Europa League games because of the coronavirus outbreak.The quarterfinal draws in both competitions, scheduled for next Friday, have also been postponed.The decision comes four days ahead of a meeting to decide the European soccer calendar, including the possible one-year postponement of the 2020 European Championship.___ India and South Africa have called off the two remaining one-day cricket internationals and decided to reschedule the series.The second ODI was scheduled to be played in Lucknow on Sunday and the third game in Kolkata on Wednesday. The first game was washed out by rain in Dharmsala earlier this week.___10:30 a.m.The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, has been postponed until a later date. Augusta National did not indicate when the Masters would be played. That means there will be no golf at least for the next month. The Masters began in 1934 and only World War II has kept it from being played. This was the biggest shoe to drop for golf. The PGA Tour already canceled the next three events leading up to the Masters. Tiger Woods was to be going after his sixth green jacket. Everton has become the third Premier League soccer club to put its entire playing squad in quarantine after a player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.Arsenal and Chelsea announced similar measures on Thursday.Everton says the club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff. Its training complex has been closed down along with its stadium, Goodison Park.Everton is scheduled to play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Monday.However, it is increasingly likely all Premier League matches will be suspended. League officials are holding an emergency meeting to discuss future steps. Associated Press Two more clubs said some players or staff would isolate. Bournemouth said Friday that reserve goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four members of staff had symptoms consistent with the virus. Leicester said Thursday that three players had “extremely mild illness” and would self-isolate as a precaution.___10:30 a.m.The England cricket team’s test series in Sri Lanka has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The England and Wales Cricket board says it made the decision for the players to return home after discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket. 11:50 a.m.NASCAR and IndyCar have each called off their races this weekend. NASCAR was scheduled to run Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway without spectators but said Friday it is calling off this weekend and next week’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.IndyCar was scheduled to open its season Sunday on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but suspended it’s season through the end of April. Four races are affected. ___11:20 a.m. Borussia Mönchengladbach played Cologne on Wednesday and although there were no fans in the stadium, hundreds assembled outside.The league asked fans “not to gather in front of the stadiums and to do their part to protect the population.”Second-division club Hannover has put its players into self-isolation after two tested positive for the coronavirus. Hannover’s game against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday has been called off.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The Swiss hockey league will not have a champion this season.The league made the decision after canceling the season because of the coronavirus outbreak. It will be the first time since 1940 that no team will be declared champion.Games were suspended two weeks ago when the Swiss federal government prohibited large public events.___10:45 a.m. The Real Madrid basketball player who tested positive for the coronavirus was American forward Trey Thompkins.The positive result prompted Madrid’s basketball and soccer teams to enter quarantine because they share some facilities at the club’s training center.Thompkins wrote on Twitter he was “feeling great and just waiting for the virus to pass.”Spain has declared a state of emergency for two weeks to try to contain the virus.___ The decision severely impacts Olympic qualifying, which closes on April 30. The BWF previously said it will not change the qualifying window, but said on Friday it “will make a further announcement on regulations related to Olympic qualification points” later.___1:45 p.m.The World Synchronized Skating Championships have been canceled because of the coronavirus outreak.U.S. Figure Skating and the International Skating Union made the announcement Friday, citing concerns over the spread of the virus and the United States’ ban on travel from Europe. The NCAA will extend the eligibility of athletes on spring sports teams one year to make up for the season lost to the new coronavirus.The decision comes after the NCAA announced Thursday that its winter and spring championships would be canceled as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus. Some but not all conferences have announced that their spring sports teams would not continue their regular seasons.An athletics official at an East Coast school told The Associated Press that the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee sent an email notifying schools of the eligibility decision. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the information.The official read the content of the email but declined to forward a copy because the official’s university monitors outgoing emails.“The Council Coordination Committee agreed that it will be appropriate to grant relief for the use of a season of competition for student-athletes who have participated in spring sports. The committee recognizes that several issues need to be addressed related to providing the additional season of competition, including financial aid implications. The committee will also discuss issues related to seasons of competition for winter student-athletes,” the email read. 11:10 a.m.The English Premier League has been suspended after three clubs put their entire playing squads in self-isolation because of coronavirus.The league had expected to continue with a full schedule this weekend with fans, but later decided to suspend all matches until April 3 “at the earliest.”The same suspension applies for the three lower divisions overseen by the English Football League and to England’s top two women’s divisions.Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, leading to the cancellation of the match against Brighton on Saturday. Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi also had a positive test on Thursday, while Everton said Friday that a player had reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus and said its squad was self-isolating. It’s the fourth match in the championship to be postponed and means the entire final round, scheduled for Saturday, is off.The Six Nations says “we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the U.K. and global sports industries.”It’s the first time the championship hasn’t been completed on schedule since 2001, when Ireland was hit by an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.___12:25 p.m. The first Bundesliga game has been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.Bremen senator for the interior Ulrich Mäurer says Werder Bremen’s home game against Bayer Leverkusen on Monday won’t be played as scheduled.The game was supposed to be played without any fans in the stadium, but Bremen mayor Andreas Bovenschulte says the decision was taken to call it off because of fears that several thousand fans would have gathered outside the stadium.Thousands of Paris Saint-Germain fans gathered outside the stadium on Wednesday during a Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund.Events with more than 1,000 participants were already banned in a bid to contain the virus outbreak. The rest of the Bundesliga’s 26th round was due to be played without fans present.___1:45 p.m.The Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Bahrain GP was scheduled to be held next week — at an empty track — and the inaugural Vietnamese GP was set to be held in Hanoi on April 5. England was set to play the first test of its two-test series on Thursday, with the second test set for March 27.The ECB says “we look forward to returning to Sri Lanka in the very near future to fulfil this important Test series.”The decision was announced with England playing in a test warm-up match against the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI.England also has tests scheduled at home against West Indies in June and Pakistan in late July and August.___ The first four races of the Formula One season have all been called off. The season-opening Australian GP and the China GP were previously postponed.No new dates have been set for the races but governing body FIA says it expects to begin the F1 season in May when it reaches Europe with the Dutch GP.___1:25 p.m.The first three stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia cycling race in May will no longer be held in Hungary. The second-division club decided to conduct tests after two players from previous opponent Hannover tested positive for the virus.Nuremberg was due to play St. Pauli on Sunday but the club has asked the German soccer league to postpone the game.Hannover’s game against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday was called off after Hannover decided on Thursday to quarantine its players for 14 days.___1:55 p.m. The club says after forward Manolo Gabbiadini tested positive on Thursday, it carried out tests on defender Omar Colley, midfielder Albin Ekdal, forward Antonino La Gumina, and midfielder Morten Thorsby, who all had light symptoms, and they also tested positive.Sampdoria says they are all in good condition in their own homes in Genoa. The same applies for club doctor Amedeo Baldari.The rest of the team, as well as the staff and directors, are also in self-isolation at home. The club’s offices and training facilities have been closed and all sporting activity has been suspended. ___5:10 p.m. The German soccer league has suspended its season, dropping a plan to play this weekend in empty stadiums.The league board says there is an increasing number of suspected coronavirus cases affecting German clubs.Three second-division players have tested positive for the virus. Bundesliga club Paderborn said its coach tested negative, hours before his team was due to play Fortuna Düsseldorf, and that it was waiting for test results from an unspecified number of players.___11:10 a.m. 3:35 p.m.The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to delay the start of the Indian Premier League T20 tournament by two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.The tournament will now start on April 15 instead of March 29.___11 a.m. The Giro d’Italia cycling race has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The first three stages of the Italian race were scheduled to take place in Hungary in May but the country has banned large outdoor sporting events. Race organizer RCS Sport says the entire race was postponed after they were informed by the organizing committee of the Hungarian stages that those three legs could not be held on the scheduled dates.RCS Sport says “all parties have agreed that they are determined to work together to enable the Giro d’Italia to depart from Hungary at a later time.”___2:10 p.m.last_img read more

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Pogba transfer confirmed

first_imgThey’ve paid around 89-million pounds to Juventus for the France midfielder – who has signed a five-year contract.It’ll be his second stint at Old Trafford, after a spell there as a teenager.last_img

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